back to article What begins with a 'B' and is having problems at tsoHost? Hopefully not your website

Beleaguered customers of UK hosting outfit tsoHost have been thrown a fresh curveball. Sites starting with the letter B on its cloud (Gridhost) platform are struggling to load. Issues began just over a week ago when the company reported "temporary loading issues" that were hitting B websites on its legacy cloud-hosting …

  1. 0x80004005

    Hahaha

    Kings Bollege Bambridge anyone?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    DNS

    It's always DNS...

    ... except in this case where it's the binary rather than the decimal version, which is called BNS. Or in their case –NS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DNS

      Nah... a simple 'oh s#!+' moment

      highlight 'b' > 'edit' > 'replace all'

      1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

        Re: DNS

        "s/b//ig"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: DNS

          I imagine they organize their websites as

          /a/aardvark/

          /a/albatros/

          /b/blimey/

          ...

          and the /b/ server or filesystem is down.

  3. Skiron
    Angel

    ing

    Shame loody ing is'n't hosted on it.

    1. KarMann
      Joke

      Re: ing

      Wouldn't that just e an itch?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ollocks

    That is alls

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Left them just over a year ago

    Due to their constant platform downtime and lack of communications.

    Signed up with another hosting company that charged half the price with better features and performance.

    Took a while to move customers and their sites over, but we've never looked back.

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: Name please of...

      ...who you moved to?

    2. Rufus McDufus

      Re: Left them just over a year ago

      I look after a site which has been on a VPS with TsoHost for a few years (and Evo Hosting before they were bought) and it's dire. Frequent high load periods throughout the day meaning probably an hour of unavailability every day. I don't own the site unfortunately and owner seems happy with it. Begins with "d" though.

    3. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: Left them just over a year ago

      leaving them ASAP as they're cheap but not cheerful. They just expired our primary business domain today, having never sent any reminders or any invoice. On contacting their 'helpdesk' I was told that they might not be able to renew it as it could take five days to process a payment (despite their T&Cs stating that they offer at least a month's grace). And this is on top of blocking our outgoing emails for quite some time, plus totally screwing up the MX record for a site we migrated out. The 'technician' put all the MX parameters in the domain name field!

      Then there's the 'helpdesk' that can email you but you can't email it. All their emails come from noreply addresses and their 'portal' only works in the latest browsers. They clearly don't want to talk to customers, and their company register listing shows two directors in the US but no UK based responsible parties.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Left them just over a year ago

        @Mike137

        That's not actually true about their helpdesk.

        I'm a long time TSO customer (for now!) and I just checked the address of support ticket updates (I have an open ticket on this very issue) and they are from support@tsohost.com and clearly say "###~~~--- Please reply ABOVE this line ---~~~###" so I don't know where you got this idea of a noreply address from, assuming you are using Tickets and not Live Chat (I never use the latter)

        Also, what browser were you using? I use Firefox + NoScript and I don't have any problems with their web portal.

  6. captain veg Silver badge

    What a silly bunt.

    -A.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "On-prem", or "Off-prem"?

    Not sure why ElReg is filing this under 'On-prem" - it appears to be very much "Off-prem", in both senses.

    1. Jim Mitchell
      Childcatcher

      Re: "On-prem", or "Off-prem"?

      The only filing category distinction that matters is "Bootnotes" and "not Bootnotes".

      1. Phil E Succour

        Re: "On-prem", or "Off-prem"?

        Shirley you mean "Ootnotes" in this case?

        1. Jim Mitchell
          Boffin

          Re: "On-prem", or "Off-prem"?

          Ooknotes is the title of the Librarian's memoir.

  8. Charlie van Becelaere
    Facepalm

    It's due to a trauma

    they suffered as a sbhoolboy - frightened by a bat.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Updated to add"

    Have to laugh at the statement from TSO in the updated version of the article.

    "small subset"? "intermittently"? LOL

    3/3 of my websites beginning with 'B' are affected and they have been almost unusable since last Friday.

    They are slowly (no pun intended) improving today but still well below what you would consider usable, with timeouts and failures, and the like, being what you mostly get. Often a site won't load at all, but if it is does it is painfully slow and creaking along before it falls over again.

    My definition of "intermittent" in this context would be "more often up than down" but the reverse is the case.

    I don't understand how it is taking them so long to fix this.

    1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Re: "Updated to add"

      > I don't understand how it is taking them so long to fix it.

      We had a similar problem (sudden, massive, swamping load on web server) at a contract I did a few years ago. We traced it to one client's website having been hacked: festering badly-written malware trying to do something in/from their private file structure. IIRC we just checked with them they had no transactional data then diffed backups till I saw some "static" files disappear (and remaining datestamps matched), overwrite with that and bobs your uncle.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Updated to add"

        @W.S.Gosset

        Yes, I assumed something like that. Which is why I don't understand why they can't just identify the offending vserver and suspend it. It doesn't take 3 working days (5 if you include the weekend) to do that.

        They were quick enough to suspend one of my sites over a false positive for malware on a download I was hosting, when that happened last year. On an executable that hadn't changed in several years. *sighs*

    2. maffski

      Re: "Updated to add"

      I don't understand how it is taking them so long to fix this.

      They're probably still trying to work out why anyone thought it was a good idea to distribute virtual instances over physical servers alphabetically.

      Meanwhile customers starting with a letter Q report performance has always been excellent.

  10. cd

    A name change might be in order..

    Something like Tso-Tso.

  11. Huw L-D

    Maye it's a load alancing prolem.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      proalym ut if I were to guess, I'd guess that they have a poor/cheap infrastructure and no redundancy or failover let alone oad alancing.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Standard operating procedure

    They are awful, too many accounts, not enough resources.. just another cookie cutter hosting company.

    It's the standard lifecycle, they get setup with good intentions and decent resources, then slowly try and push up margins by getting more accounts, diluting resources so you've got a nice business on the books, then action their exit strategy by selling to a monolithic hosting company ( i.e: GoDaddy et al) - that's the nail in the coffin. Rinse and repeat.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Standard operating procedure

      Sadly very true.

      Register1 were the same.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's another problem at TSO...

    I have some websites hosted at TSOhost. For several years those used Lets Encrypt certificates (free).

    On Sunday 26 Dec I became aware that one site was now giving "insecure" warnings indicating that the certificate was no longer valid.

    I logged in to TSOhost to see why.  The Lets Encrypt control panel icon was gone.

    I raised a support ticket, being a Sunday and Christmas and a cheap host, response was slow but eventually I got: "I am afraid that on our cPanel hosting packages, we don't support Let's Encrypt, but you can add any issued free SSL from an open-source and install it from the TLS/SSL option in cPanel."

    They also suggested I might like to pay £50p.a. for their commercial alternative.  As it was a personal "hobby" site on "economy" hosting, paying an extra £50 is bonkers.

    You might think that a provider would give clients advance warning of withdrawal of an essential service, but no! I took the suggested alternative of getting Lets Encrypt elsewhere and installing it. For someone with reasonable IT literacy I found a relatively straightforward way to do that (Google for "certsage") but, IMHO, beyond the capabilities of most small businesses and individuals. That said, it will be necessary to repeat the exercise every 60 days creating a further incentive to move to a better host which I've already done for a few other sites. [Lets Encrypt should keep working for 90 days but advice is to renew after 60 days]

    TSOhost is part of Paragon Group, which is part of HEG (Host Europe Group) which is part of GoDaddy.  If the same policy is to apply to the many GoDaddy subsidiaries there are going to be a lot of very upset individuals and small businesses.

    It's pretty much a "must" for a website to have a secure certificate these days.  Without one, visitors are likely to get a scary "insecure" alert from security software or web browser and Google will give a poorer ranking in search results. Other web hosts still provide Lets Encrypt (free) including "budget" hosts. I can only infer that TSO (or GoDaddy) have spotted a way to squeeze more cash out of their customers - I checked elsewhere for certificate prices and it looks as if TSO host are adding a healthy profit margin, cheapest I could find is under £10p.a.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: There's another problem at TSO...

      Ok that's bizarre considering its an official free add-on that literally every WHM and cPanel host have enabled. Seems you can use a workaround https://community.letsencrypt.org/t/tso-host-remove-letsencrypt-from-cpanel/167591 but that's really odd when its basically something that has been standard for a number of years.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There's another problem at TSO...

        Depends if you want to charge for something that really should be free. £50 from every customer is a nice pay day.

      2. Flicker

        Re: There's another problem at TSO...

        Not odd at all - it's a scam to collect more revenue, with attractive headline / lead-in pricing for basic shared hosting with the profit coming from pretty-much essential "add-ons" like SSL certs.

        Their on-line help does at least acknowledge that you can continue to use Let's Encrypt or other 3rd Party certs, but tries to scare the bejesus out of any non-tech customers from doing so. I've just updated the cert on my club website using the CertSage script mentioned above and can confirm that it works perfectly, with clear instructions that most users should be able to follow. Only real downside is the need to repeat the exercise every few months.

        In general not at all impressed with TSOHost / GoDaddy but, like a slowly boiling frog, I can't quite bring myself to go through the hassle of migrating the (inherited..) website and email to somewhere better.

        Direct link to CertSage here:

        https://community.letsencrypt.org/t/certsage-acme-client-version-1-2-0-easy-webpage-interface-optimized-for-cpanel-no-commands-to-type-root-not-required/164784

    2. Richard Cranium

      Re: There's another problem at TSO...

      Standard at GoDaddy (as if there aren't enough reasons to avoid them anyway). This page covers it, https://uk.godaddy.com/help/install-a-lets-encrypt-certificate-on-your-linux-hosting-account-28023

      I really don't think they want anyone to use third party certificates with text like this "...cannot guarantee their safety or reliability..." and a link to another page to explain how to "Install your certificate and private key in cPanel" that gives "No page found."

      It seems GoDaddy is buying up smaller hosts and migrating them to their platform which means the old host's clients lose their existing Lets Encrypt certification.

      That they do that without prior notice to those clients beggars belief. GoDaddy SSL certs come at an even higher price than TSOhost at £70p.a. (after an introductory discount if you pay up-front for 2 years).

      A friend runs 3 small web sites on TSOhost's 5 web site package at about £86p.a. he reluctantly stumped up £50 for SSL for one of them when TSO pulled the plug on Lets Encrypt. He told me after the event but I was at least able to help him set up LetsEncrypt for the 2 other sites he has there, otherwise what once cost £86p.a. would now be £236p.a..

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Shakespeare jokes ?!?

    Honestly?

    To B or not to B?

    No?

    :)

    1. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: No Shakespeare jokes ?!?

      Tso be, or not tso e, that could e the question. Whether 'tis est to ...

      Oh, OK. Mine's the one with the first folio in the pocket.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can confirm it's still an issue. My website hosted on TSOHost that starts with 'B' now takes ~36 seconds to load. One that doesn't start with 'B' takes less than 1 second. Might need to start looking for alternative hosting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Might need to start looking for alternative hosting.

      If you're hosting with anything that involves GoDaddy, that move is very much overdue..

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Might need to start looking for alternative hosting."

      Change that, remove the word "might".

      Check any alternative is not a GoDaddy subsidiary.

      My preference remains with hosts big enough to be able to provide 24x365 support but small enough for your business to be important to them (not in the sense of phone queueing systems that put you on hold for 20 minutes interrupted every minute with an assurance that "your call is important to us").

      Unfortunately it's hard to name any because, when an aggregator like GoDaddy come knocking, the payday for the owners is just too big to turn-down.

      I had hundreds of domains, initially with excellent small providers but gradually they all got absorbed into bigger companies. Eventually that became 123reg who were OK for a while but, if my understanding is correct, they got gobbled up and the gobblers got gobbled. Costs went up, service went down. I just had to knuckle down and migrate a few sites a week until all were gone. It was a big effort but saved me thousands, higher specification service and responsive, effective support. I expect GoDaddy will buy them and it'll be back to square one...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TsoHost to be avoided

    Apparently used to be a decent hosting company, but recent experience is a litany of basic errors and poor service.

  17. ParasiteParty
    FAIL

    Up and down like a yoyo for 11 days...

    Getting outage reports for one of our customers sites by the dozen - up an down like a yo yo.

    The customer chose this host some years ago based upon them offering him a great price.

    At least they saved a few quid, hey?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About 3 years ago I moved everything away from Tsohost, resulting in much less stress for myself and my customers. I'm blown away that they're still having such issues to be honest. I'm trying to move a few sites away from Tsohost for a large agency who are dropping Tsohost completely. Of course for the majority of today I'm been messing around battling with Tsohost support to provide some form of actionable update as to when the B sites issue will be resolved.

    As 3 years ago, Tsohost flat out refuse to provide any form of ETA. I've been waiting 8 plus hours now for the escalated support to reply to my ticket.

    I so do not regret moving away from Tsohost (as stressful as it was at the time).

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    B Ark

    What, more downtime, yet again? …something something B Ark… something something… but I don't seem to be able to access that particular website just now for some reason…

    Apparently TsoHost used to have a reasonable reputation once upon a time, but then they got acquired by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, and, well, you can kind of guess the rest: "Go stick your head in a pig."

  20. slimer23
    Mushroom

    The update to add where Tsohost state "We have identified high load as the root cause of the issue" is a total lie.

    After they messed around for over a week, that including multiple full days of downtime for my site beginning with "B" they finally resolved the issue.

    It must have been pretty significant because according to their status page at https://help.tsohost.com/status/report/13096 they state on 14/01/2022:

    "We have successfully completed the migration of ‘B’ website data from the failed hard disk to brand new hardware. Your website should now be working correctly. If you made any changes to your website since Monday 11th January 2022, please check your website to ensure all changes have been saved."

    As expected, after Tsohost fixed their brokne platform the sites in question were immediately migrated away.

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